Of all the Yiddish stories I heard and read during my childhood in Vilna, those by I. L. Peretz remain the most luminous and vivid in my mind and my heart.
Illustrazione di Deborah Kogan Ray
Ester Hautzig è la traduttrice di alcune novelle di Isaac Leiv Peretz nelle quali viene rappresentata nella sua essenza la vita degli ebrei nei poveri shtetl dell’Europa dell’est. Nata a Vilna in Polonia, la piccola Ester ascoltava le antiche storie yiddish che sua madre le leggeva e i personaggi giungevano sino a lei nello sperduto villaggio in cui viveva.
Bontche “went” with me to a small village in a desolate, terrifying Siberia to which we were deported during the war and where we lived for nearly six years. Because my dream of paradise then was having all the white bread and sugar I could eat, Bontche’s request of the Heavenly Court made perfect sense.
Scrive ancora Ester Hautzig nell’introduzione al libro:
…translating Peretz is a formidable task. His writing is so poetic, so alliterative, and so idiomatic that putting it into understable, readable English is nearly impossible without making some cuts and taking some liberties with the words, phases, and expressions he used.
Yiddish, the language in which he wrote the stories in this collection, cannot be translated literally. There are words and expressions that can only be approximated in another language, not translated word for word.
Isaac Leiv Peretz, The seven good years and other stories of I. L. Peretz